The Gemological Institute of America honored John Koivula, chief research gemologist with the Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement, the highest tribute the Institute can bestow upon an individual.
GIA president and CEO Donna Baker presented the special honor to Koivula during a surprise ceremony on Dec. 17 at GIA’s world headquarters in Carlsbad.
Koivula has been studying and photographing the microworld of gemstones since 1961. As an extension of his inclusion research and microscopy he has developed several useful illumination techniques applicable to gemology. He introduced fiber optic illumination and discovered many of the micro-characteristics now routinely used in the separation of treated stones from natural gems.
He has also authored or co-authored more than 800 articles on gemstone inclusions and related topics. Koivula was instrumental in the development of the "MacGyver" television series for ABC, and worked as a scientific and technical advisor on the show during its seven year run.